Resto-Hopping: Sampling Food One Resto at a Time
buttered snails with herbs
A restaurant, food chain, or any food establishment usually has its own claim of unique flavors and great tasting food in their menu. Finding out the truth behind these claims can be a fun learning experience for everyone who loves to eat. Being exposed to different cuisines can widen one’s perspective on food thereby paving the way to a more discriminating yet appreciative palate. Knowing what these restaurants have to offer also makes it easy to decide on where to go when entertaining guests from out of town or abroad. There is no need to rush in a foodie expedition, savor each experience by going to one restaurant at a time or what might be rightfully called as Resto-Hopping.
Nothing beats personal experience when it comes to giving verdict on food but eating out with friends or family everyday can be quite expensive or impractical. A less costly way to enjoy dining in different establishments on a regular basis is to find affordable food with coupons to treat the whole family, just like what I do at times. The objective of resto-hopping is to have a taste of the best that a restaurant has to offer, pricey restaurants and fine dining establishments included. This can be tough on the wallet if there’s a whole family to feed (5 in our case). One can either save up for it and plan the visit on a special occasion or patiently wait for promotional offers and discount deals that can be found online. Another way to get pricey meals for less is to avail of restaurant specials and discounts that are usually offered during non-peak hours. To make the most out of each trip, read up of restaurant reviews and solicit recommendations from friends.
Newly opened restaurants are ideal destinations for resto-hopping because they are likely to have at least one dish in the menu that is uniquely theirs. Go for cuisines or dishes that you haven’t tried yet in order to widen your vocabulary and taste in food. Discover the uniqueness of flavors in each dish to make your food expedition more fulfilling. Just take it slow and do it one restaurant at a time.
And to take the experience to a different level, try that one recipe that you like from those hops. Challenge yourself by recreating it within the confines of your own kitchen. Here’s my take on the Classic Escargots à la Bourguignonne. Though this version is not the same with what we had in Paris some time ago, it is worth to try.
escargot shells (18 pieces or so)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon minced shallot
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Rinse escargot carefully under warm water. Pat shells dry with a paper towel, set aside.
Purée garlic, butter, parsley, and shallot in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper.
Stuff shells with pureed concoction.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Serve with buttered Baguette.